“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!" -Matthew 6:7-8
Our Father knows EXACTLY what we need even before we ask Him. Does that mean we don't need to ask? I don't think so. "..... Yet you do not have because you do not ask." -James 4:2. I think God wants us to ask, but we don't need to go on and on about it thinking that the more fervently we ask, the better the chances of getting our prayers answered. There are times when I find myself repeating myself in prayer, mostly out of passion for what I'm praying about. I don't think that's the issue. We pray to a living being, not a dead saint or a piece of wood, gold, or bronze that can't hear us anyway. In that case we WOULD need to repeat our prayers again and again, unfortunately they would still never be answered. How thankful I am that when I pray I am heard by my loving and gracious Heavenly Father who already knows everything about me, my needs, and the desires of my heart...AND He knows what's best for me. He knows exactly what to provide and when. If I never asked and just sat back and waited for Him to provide everything, what kind of relationship would we have? Not much of one, I daresay. When I come to Him with my needs and requests, it opens the door for conversation, fellowship, and communion. Our relationship grows because we have spent time together, talking and listening to one another. It's a beautiful thing. Do I sometimes come to Him excited and animated, repeating myself at times, of course. Our children do the same thing, do they not? The problem is when our prayers become rote and ritual. If we think we can say seven "Hail Mary's", and ten "Our Fathers" and our prayers will be answered and our sins forgiven, we are mistaken. God wants our hearts, not our rituals and routines. He cares nothing for human tradition when there's no heart involved.
We can say words until we're blue in the face, but if we have not come into relationship with the Father through salvation in Jesus Christ, then we may as well be speaking to a piece of wood. If we don't know Him and have not drawn near to Him and Him to us, then we are as people of other religions. "Don't be like them", He says. "Know Me as Father, a Father who knows before you even ask, but desires that you ask so that we can have relationship.". When we're in relationship with our Heavenly Father, there's no need for repetitious rote. Amen!